The Rise of WordPress App Themes
Once upon a time, WordPress was a blogging platform, and now, at 10 years old, it’s a CMS in full bloom. While it may have some limitations when compared to other CMS’s that were built to be so from the ground up, the ubiquity of WordPress more than makes up for any lack. But where there is lack, there has been a rise in “app themes.”
What is an app theme? An app (or application) theme is simply a theme that has advanced functionality for a particular purpose. Among those classified as “app themes” are real estate themes, band themes, coupon based themes, city guide themes, voting themes, directory themes, and a few others. Building upon the usability of WordPress, these app themes often include multiple pages of theme options, built-in custom fields, custom post types, and custom taxonomies, as well as payment gateways or other ways to monetize the sites (such as ad management).
Many of the most popular sites have now been “cloned” and are available as app themes for WordPress. Yelp clones like this one exist, as do clones for Pinterest, Fat Wallet and Retail Me Not, Digg and Reddit, Groupon, and many others.
Two of the most well known companies that are only make application based themes are App Themes and Premium Press. Both companies boast half a dozen or more themes that have tons and tons of extra features. Other companies are catching on though. Another company that only makes app themes is SiteMile, and they are quickly becoming popular as well. Other theme makers such as Tokokoo and InkThemes are jumping on the bandwagon as well, though their themes include a wider range of categories outside of app themes as well.
There are approximately 150 app themes in existence right now (not counting e-commerce themes!), and there is little doubt that the WP industry will see more and more of these types of themes in the future.